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February 9, 2018

Diana Esmat. Archer Fellow (D.C.)I couldn’t have started my senior year in a better way than studying in D.C as an Archer Fellow. The Fall semester has been one of my favorite highlights during college. During the semester I got to live, learn and work in Washington D.C. I got the chance to work as a Middle East intern for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The first day of work started on a great foot when I realized that Nikki Haley was visiting our office. Throughout the semester, I got the chance to meet Middle East officials and closely follow critical Middle East decisions. Conducting research along expert scholars on the economy of the Middle East gave me great insight into how foreign policy is formed. In the classroom, not only did I learn about the policy making process while exploring D.C. but I also I got to learn from 48 outstanding Archer fellows who are committed to making a difference. In our national memory class we got to learn about the stories and the memories that lie beneath many of the nation’s monuments. One of the highlights of my Advocacy and Policy course was interviewing Rania Al-Mashat, an Egyptian economic advisor at the World Bank who was recently appointed as the minister of Tourism in Egypt. Throughout the semester, I got the chance to receive mentorship from remarkable people that I truly look up to.


Living in D.C. during the fall allowed me to be part of the discussion on many current policies like the tax reform and DACA. Furthermore, I got to attend lectures and talks by various Congressmen like Congressman Bob Corker and leaders like the president of Mauritius, President Ameenah Gurib. I also attended Senate hearings on Africa, the Middle East and the economy and I got to see Janet Yellen, whom I look up to, testify in front of the Congress. Moreover, I got the opportunity to attend Wharton African Business Forum where I networked with leaders working on the ground in African countries. I was also selected to participate in the World Bank Youth Forum as an Egyptian delegate where I got to meet the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim. This semester I grew professionally and got to network with passionate leaders who mentored me throughout the way.


The semester didn’t lack any fun as I got to explore the east coast to visit New York and Pennsylvania and reconnected with friends from ALA. I also attended my last football game as a UT student in West Virginia and couldn’t have been prouder to see the Longhorns score another win. The memories and the people I encountered while in D.C. helped me rediscover my life goals and rekindled my passion for public policy. I can’t wait to make more memories and reach further goals during my last semester in college.


Tags: Diana Esmat, The University of Texas at Austin